Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Rhodri Morgan on agricultural devolution

In his Radio Wales interview marking 10 years of the Welsh Assembly, the First Minister cited WAG's response to the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak as one of the devolved administration's successes. To my mind, he has chosen the wrong example. My recollection was that Cardiff was slow to act on F&M, failing to respond to pleas from Mick Bates AM, for one, to close markets and stop the transport of cattle, until England had taken these steps. As a result, there were more outbreaks of the disease in Wales than there needed to be.

The First Minister should instead have mentioned the farm payments scheme, which Wales implemented with few difficulties, while DEFRA in England fouled up an over-elaborate IT system to administer their payments.

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